May 10


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Jeremiah 5-7

We are in the Prophetic Stream reading the judgments as written by the prophet Jeremiah. We are reading from the Easy-to-Read Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God, we ask that you would be a comfort to us; an ever present help in times of trouble. Guide us as we aim to live as Jeremiah did and speak up amid a culture that seems bent on disobedience. We trust you to guide us in our pilgrimage and ministry as we find ourselves living in similar times to what Jeremiah lived in.  Amen

5 – Jeremiah is appalled that there is not even one righteous/loving/God-fearing soul in Jerusalem.  The people talk of God but it is hollow. He then goes into a prayer for 15 verses straight.  Jeremiah vents to God about their wickedness, the punishment coming to them like a lion pouncing on its prey.  They’re about to be treated like animals -since they wander away from God. The children, the leaders, everyone is going to feel the punishment. They ignore His prophecy so the LORD must bring in a foreign nation.  They’ve brought foreign gods to worship from another land, so they are going to be taken to a foreign land (what do they THINK is going to happen?!)  They and everything they own is going to be devoured. These Babylonians may as well be six foot tall locusts – they will leave nothing. These people of Judah are not accidentally straying; their rebellion is deliberate. They are deaf and blind but think they are fine. They lie and are treacherous. It will require the Babylonian army to get their attention.

6 – The enemy of the people of God is coming, and they come to destroy. The people have stopped their ears long enough and God is going to use this foreign army to “cleanse” Judea. The chapter reads like God is even directing the Babylonians, telling them how to overtake the city. As believers we read this and may think, “God, what are you doing?!” Hey, what is God supposed to do? The Judeans have been up and down spiritually for almost 350 years. The north had fallen to Assyria (150 years before Judea did) and in the intermittent century and a half, Judea more or less has an ungodliness contest with itself to see how far they can press the matter in their disobedience. They had deluded themselves. Remember, later in Jer. 25:9 and 43:10 God refers to the Babylonian king as “His servant.” This king Nebuchadnezzar will be sent (by God!) to clean up Judea. If God is not allowed to, then a dark force will be put to work on them. Obedience to God would have been a much better plan. This is just like in Eden; When God’s people do not obey God or His plan, what is God to do?  When they (we) won’t obey, God just needs to clean house. We do the same with spiders and roaches in our houses, do we not? Judea refuses to repent. And they keep bringing offerings to God as if that would cover for their wickedness. The warnings for repentance are insistent, even pathetic. The awful punishment coming to them could be avoided through repentance. But Judah won’t.

7 –  Jeremiah is assigned to stand in the gateway to the city and prophesy to the people about the matter of obedience and repentance. Jeremiah is laying it all out here! The people have been treating the Temple like a kid playing “tag” or something like that. A kid will run all around a yard and then stop with a hand on a structure and declare, “Base!” meaning they can’t be caught or tagged because they are on a base.  Judah was breaking all the commandments all over the country in their ungodly behavior and then coming to the Temple and declaring to themselves that they would not be punished because they were in the Temple. It’s like they are yelling “base!” to God.  I mean God isn’t going to let His own Temple be smashed is He? Not with us in here with our offerings, right? Think again!  The reference in v. 18 “Queen of Heaven” was Ashtoreth. They were worshiping this female sex deity just like all the surrounding pagan nations were doing. All God wanted was their obedience. They are countering with, “we won’t obey, …but we will bring sacrifices! [durrr] The Judeans revered their ancestors (uh, they weren’t obedient either!).  And the more time passes, the worse people become. They have been as pagan as the pagan nations and worse. They’ve done infant sacrifice right in the city, the Temple is polluted by their deeds as they play both sides. They do this Satanic level wretchedness and then bring their offerings to the Temple (same people!) Well God is going to end all this and there will be so many dead that vultures will swarm in to clean up the bodies. Some Hebrews will be preserved in another land, but Jerusalem is going to fall silent.  A preview of this is in Lamentations 1 “…the city is deserted…”  This all- so- did- not- need to happen. But with Judah’s behavior – it did happen.

May 3


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Jeremiah 2-4

We are in the Prophetic Stream as we read from The Living Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Dear Lord: The prospects of the ungodly are oh so grim. The end of the disobedient is certain. I pray we are ready and alert souls who will have ministry in mind as we encounter those who have come the the end of themselves and are therefore ready to hear of The Savior. Amen.

Here are some statistics: Jeremiah spent 20 years warning Judah to repent, 20 years amid the sabres of war as Babylon was sacking the southern Kingdom, and 20 years in retrospect lamenting the destruction of the land of God; Judah and Israel.

2 – The nation has fallen so far. God wants to know, and Jeremiah is assigned to tell them: “you once loved me so much. I defended you and fed you. Anyone who threatened you paid severely.  Now you will worship anything as long as it isn’t Me. There is a national attitude of “whatever buddy!” toward God.  Even the priests and leaders are given to Baal and Molech.”  God is going to continue pursuing Judah and will be trying to love them, but things do not look good.  They were so free and prosperous and strong but have turned themselves into slaves. They rebel at every turn.  They have become more proficient at sinning than those who have had no training in goodness (and vice versa!) It’s as if those who were lost all along come to the Israelites to learn about ‘how to be better sinners.’  It is so utterly pathetic what these people have turned themselves into.  They are dirty dirty dirty, lusting 24/7, anyone who comes to minister to them gets murdered, …and they think that a foreign government is going to be of aid to them!
3 – Israel, called out to be God’s bride, has turned itself into a trolling whore that will expend herself on anyone but her husband, and she doesn’t come home.  God is willing to forgive and reunite with them but their sinfulness is a bit more appealing to them at the time.  Judah held onto God a bit longer (the southern Kingdom) but they have slouched in their pursuit of God too.  Manasseh is king at present.  He’s the one who had Isaiah killed and he is turning out to be the darkest leader the Semitic world has ever seen.  His Satanic wretchedness far outdid Ahab. Manasseh was throwing live babies and young children into fires at evening rituals as a sacrifice to Molech.  Here was Jerusalem – no city had been so blessed, yet no place or people on earth had descended so far down from so far up. They had even become more wicked than their relatives in Israel; the northern kingdom. Judah was disaffectionately dubbed, “the adulterous wife”. And that was just the tip of the matter as for how bad they had become.
4 –  The opening of ch. 4 sounds like, “this is your final chance to exit from the highway to destruction…”  God wants to see total transformation of His people, yet they are bent on wickedness.  and the enemy army is on the march to come flatten them!  The sword is raised, a lion is at the gate, their chariots and horses are coming, war and death and crushing will engulf Judah. It is going to be awful – and Jeremiah can see it prophetically. It will happen.  The first influx of Babylonian soldiers enter Judah in 605 B.C. – 21 years after Jeremiah is called into ministry. The siege is progressively moving across Judah until 586 B.C. when Jerusalem is sacked and the Temple is destroyed.  Jeremiah is warning them for two decades to turn but God’s people are stubborn, dull to truth, skilled at deviance, and moronic about righteousness. It’s amusing that, as the enemy is closing in on them, some of the Judeans are pausing to put on mascara and “doll up” themselves.  That’s as dopey as the town being on fire, and stopping the work of dousing the fire so you can have time to wash and paint your house … before it burns to an ash heap!  Something is really wrong with these people. The sad thing is that it is an illustration of all of us.

April 26


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Isaiah 65-Jeremiah

We are bridging between two books in the Prophetic Stream today as we read from the International Standard Version this week.

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God, we pray that all of us would realize the gravity and seriousness of our callings the way Isaiah and Jeremiah did. There are nations yet to bring into Your Light – and you will use us to do that as we are willing and available.  Amen

Isaiah is offering parts of the vision of the new heavens and the new earth.  It is the answer to prayer for a longing earth and the people who have been hoping for God’s Kingdom to come in full. Trademarks of this time are that new nations are “taken aboard”, a new name is given to all, the atmosphere of God reigns, there is a new heaven and earth…because what has been hoped for has arrived at our current presence.  What was always thought of to be “up there” is now among us; that is a new heaven and earth. <—-the fascinating concept could be discussed for 1,000 years! and it probably will still be a fascinating discussion 1,000 from now. The evil is separated and gone. Peter speaks of this in 2 Pt. 3:10ff, John speaks of this in its final state in Rev. 21-22.  Revelation especially expands on Isaiah’s vision described.  Other aspects is that people will be living the length of years similar to lifespans before Noah’s flood.

Isa. 65:20 asserts that those who die under 100 years of age will be accursed souls who died in their youth. Apparently a time is coming when we will be seeing Methuselah-types again.  Won’t this be a wonder?  Plenty and prosperity and peace will be common. Tension and frustration will be unheard of.
66 – Isaiah talks clearly about those who are received of the Lord and those who are rejected.  There have been people who have lived by the rules of their own choosing and obeying which rules of God that suited them [vv. 3-4]. Obeying what we want to obey when we want to obey it – is not obeying. This great book of Isaiah then ends with comforting words akin to tender motherhood for his beloved followers and terrible reckoning for the disobedient.  There are several of Jesus’ quotes that come from this portion of Isaiah.  And this ends the words of one of the greatest writers of all time.  For his powerful and poignant contribution to Israel’s prophecy, Isaiah was executed by the diabolical king Manasseh; son of the righteous king Hezekiah.  Hebrews 11:37 talks of Isaiah’s execution wherein he joined the other saints in glory.
Jer. 1 – Jeremiah had the dismal task of warning Jerusalem of being over run by Babylon.  He is called to ministry and he is called to a ministry in a time when people don’t want to hear it.  He ministered in Jerusalem during its final decades before Babylon stormed in  … and there is no record of even one convert to encourage his work. Truth is he could have volunteered to go to Nineveh or Babylon and be among an elite writing team for a literary revival was in progress. But he followed his difficult call from God and he stuck to his post and henceforth his writing is still touching hearts nearly 2700 years later. This instead of having his work be celebrated, his life lived in luxury, only to have his writing become filler for an archaeological dig along with his own bones.   He was reluctant to accept his calling from God. He was about 20 years of age when his calling came. He was intimidated and felt he was too young to affect anything. But he was to tell them that an army was coming – they were as motivated and angry as a boiling pot ready to pour over the land. His calling is rich with imagery, ominous in its pulsing immensity and encouraging in that God would be present and walk him through his assignment step by step and word by word. Jeremiah is in for an intense “rest of his life”!